Who Would Jesus Hate?

20 Feb

One of the scariest aspects of the lunacy that drives the Right-wing agenda in America today is its claim of divine right. The Querulous Quartet and all their ilk regularly invoke their faith as the justification for their actions. After all, who can argue with actions inspired by God?

T.A. Barnhart published a brilliant piece on BlueOregon this weekend that calls out the artificiality of this claim. Using the wonderful example of Mr. Rogers, a true Christian who promoted loving values without ever even invoking God, Barnhart demolishes the howling hypocrisy of those who trade in biblical invocations without practicing any true Christian values.

I told you to LOVE one another

Sadly, the examples of this kind of fakery are all too prevalent:

  • Banning Gay/Straight Alliances in the name of Catholic values while comparing the LGBT community to Nazis
  • Preachers devoting whole sermons to the evils of homosexuality while ignoring poverty and homelessness
  • A mother being berated by her minister for a blog post about loving her son
  • A “christian activist” from the U.S. helping create homophobic legislation in Uganda
  • A Georgia congressman calling homosexuality a capital offense, using the bible as his source
  • That same congressman practicing his christian values by attacking rape victims
  • A fast-food restaurant famous for its christian values sponsoring rabidly anti-gay seminars
  • The Governor of Alabama telling people that non-Christians are unworthy in a public speech
  • A “family values” organization using teen suicides to blame the gay community
  • The Pope himself promoting violence against the gay community

The list goes on and on. Apparently all of these people learned scripture where Michele Bachmann leanred history. (Bachmann herself is a big user of false christianity to explain her ranting.) How dare these people misuse God as a weapon? True Christians like Chuck Currie, Kathy Baldock, and Daphne’s mom have a very difficult task  making a true message of love and hope heard over these miscreants. People who truly understand what family values are get drowned out by bigots who have co-opted the language.

I’m certainly not a biblical scholar, but this behavior puts me in mind of a couple of verses.  How about the 9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness. It seems that such regular abuse of scripture in the name of power certainly violates that edict. Seeing all the damage done and the potential good works avoided by warriors in the name of Christ, I think also of a very simple line.

“Jesus wept.”

9 Responses to “Who Would Jesus Hate?”

  1. Jennifer February 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I am always hesitant to post on topics such as these because I am not quite ‘unbiased.’ I’m not the biggest fan of religion and sacred texts as ones’ complete moral guide as they are usually filled with directions of violence and hatred and the Bible is no exception. In fact, the bible argues for the hatred/murder/physical punishment of many groups: foreigners, jews, non-jews, Romans (would that be Italians now?), male homosexuals (no mention of lesbians, so I guess they’re off the hook), slaves, freed slaves, women, children, animals, pagans, tax collectors (although this is the season for that), soldiers, priests…
    I’ve read the entirety of the ‘good book’ a few times cover to cover and the New Testament once in the original Greek. While a few phrases and snippets are inspiring, the overall message is of bloodshed, oppression, and justified cruelty. I find greater comfort and guidance from my own conscience.

    • rhulshofschmidt February 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      Very nice analysis, Jen. I’m hardly unbiased here myself, but the hypocrisy is sometimes too much not to comment on. Barnhart got me inspired.
      I’m impressed that you’ve made it through the whole book more than once. It can be pretty slow going. I’m sure Michele Bachmann would be glad to loan you her condensed book version.

      • Jennifer February 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

        It’s part and parcel for growing up in a religiously dogmatic family. I had 6am Bible study every day through high school. My mom finally banned me from asking questions as I was clearly intentionally creating friction or jibing. I kept pointing out the problems in the text or the double-standing or the alternate translations. However, I know my Bible!

  2. Jenny68 February 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I can’t stand any of it and absolutely ADORE telling people how unimpressed I am by some random biblical quote meant to shame me into the “right” way of thinking- Jennifer and Robert,
    I love reading both of your writings…..yes indeed who would Jesus hate, personally, I’d just as soon live and let live. AND this planet would be that much more shit if Michael and Robert weren’t here on it with us….

  3. webwordwarrior February 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m impressed too, Jen. Regardless of the family background, that kind of operational knowledge of the book takes some effort. I’m also impressed that you and Mr. Barnhart escaped your backgrounds and found ways to contribute to a reasonable world.
    (I’m also going to steal Barnhart’s reference to the NT as “fanfic”!) 🙂

    • rhulshofschmidt February 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      I loved that reference too, Lex. It’s also ironic how much slashfic there is in the Bible…

  4. rhulshofschmidt February 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Right back atcha, Jenny. We need all the good souls we can find, don’t we?

  5. Jenny68 February 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Yep- thats why I’m giving you my children to raise Robert. I think you and Michael would be better at it than me and you two are all the rage at SLC. Anna thinks you’re all amazing- you too Lex those she’s just too shy to say. And these young boys wear me out. I’ll drop them off at your house at 7 am tomorrow. Michael will be thrilled.

  6. whiteylawful February 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    By hate you mean oppose. The ‘Jesus Movement’ of the 60’s counterculture has lead you to believe that Christ was one of them.

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